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CRF, Adrenocorticotrophin, Adrenal Steroids and Stress

Sex Differences in Brain and Plasma β-Endorphin Content following Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone and Estradiol Administration to Gonadectomized Rats

Pluchino N. · Ninni F. · Casarosa E. · Giannini A. · Merlini S. · Cubeddu A. · Luisi M. · Cela V. · Genazzani A.R.

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Department of Reproductive Medicine and Child Development, Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

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Neuroendocrinology 2009;89:411–423

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of CRF, Adrenocorticotrophin, Adrenal Steroids and Stress

Received: March 23, 2008
Accepted: October 24, 2008
Published online: March 19, 2009
Issue release date: June 2009

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 7
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0028-3835 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0194 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/NEN

Abstract

Aims: The present study aims at evaluating the effect of a 2-week treatment with testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol valerate (E2V) on brain and plasma β-endorphin (β-END) concentrations in gonadectomized rats of both sexes. Methods: Eight groups of female and 8 groups of male Wistar rats were included. For each sex, 1 group of gonad-intact and 1 group of gonadectomized rats were employed as controls (placebo). The other groups received subcutaneous T at the doses of 10 and 100 μg/kg/day (female rats) or 1 and 5 mg/kg/day (male rats). Subcutaneous DHT was administered at the doses of 1, 10, 100 μg/kg/day (female rats) or 0.1, 1 and 5 mg/kg/day (male rats). E2V was administered subcutaneously at 0.05 mg/kg/day. β-END levels were measured in different brain areas and plasma. Results: Ovariectomy (OVX) induced a significant decrease in β-END in all brain areas analyzed as well as in plasma. Orchidectomy (OCX) reduced opioid concentration in the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary and neurointermediate lobe. In OVX rats, T replacement as well as E2V significantly increased β-END concentration in all brain areas and in plasma. In the OCX group, T and E2V did not influence β-END concentrations in different hypothalamic areas. However, they produced a significant rise in β-END levels in the hypothalamus, neurointermediate lobe, anterior pituitary and plasma. Conversely, DHT replacement did not affect β-END levels at any dose administered, either in males or females. Conclusions: The sensitivity of the endogenous opiatergic system to T administration seems to be sex-related. This effect is particularly evident in the brains of female animals where this endogenous endorphin elicits a much greater response than it does in males that have undergone gonadal steroid depletion and subsequent T replacement.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of CRF, Adrenocorticotrophin, Adrenal Steroids and Stress

Received: March 23, 2008
Accepted: October 24, 2008
Published online: March 19, 2009
Issue release date: June 2009

Number of Print Pages: 13
Number of Figures: 7
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0028-3835 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0194 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/NEN


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